Are all mothers funny worrywarts like my mom? I sure hope so because it's quite an endearing trait, though I'm certain any teenager out there would refute that. My sisters and I got together for a little Mexico ATVing trip recently, and you would laugh if you could see my sister's luggage. She had to check-in her luggage because it was filled with allergy medicine, sunblock, a Sonicare replacement head, dog snacks (those were actually from my sister, but can you see where she gets it from?) and ten hefty pounds of kumquats - all for me. I made out like a thief and was especially excited about all the kumquats. Yay! I had made a special request for them since we're right in the thick of citrus season. My parents have two super fruitful kumquat trees. My mom had apologized to me since she thought she had only packed enough for me to eat and not to make preserves/compote/jam. Sheesh mom! Ten pounds? How many kumquats do you think one person can eat? There's yet another charming motherly quality.
I had more than enough to make preserves and with National Grilled Cheese Month in full swing, I thought that a mascarpone cheese with strawberry and kumquat preserves would make a nice dessert sandwich. It would also highlight California's seasonal fruits. Kumquats are sweet on the outside and tart on the inside offering a nice foil to the sweet strawberries.
The abundance of tiny seeds makes the process a bit tedious, but once you get in a rhythm, it goes pretty quick. The payoff is well worth it too. The kumquat rind, like most citrus fruits, contains a good amount of pectin so there's no need to add any extra to help it set up. Just add a little sugar and water and simmer until it's thick to your liking. Here's the finished product with some homemade raw fleur de sel butter made by Susan.
Delicious classic combo. Butter and preserves. I'll be eating lots of this since homemade butter has a short shelf life. Oh darn. I HAVE to eat all this yummy butter quickly. Thanks Susan! How about some more pictures you ask? Yes, I too love photo heavy blog posts! Here you go.
The whole reason I made the preserves was to make a dessert grilled cheese, so let's not forget that. Here it is...